(Left to right: Edwin Coe LLP’s David Greene, Senior Partner, Alexandre Terrasse, Partner and Head of French Inward Investment, and Nicolas de Villiers, President, Puy du Fou)
Edwin Coe LLP assisted Puy du Fou – France’s second biggest theme park – to welcome home the medieval ring, formerly owned by Joan of Arc.
The medieval artefact was acquired by Puy du Fou, with the help of Edwin Coe, at auction on Friday 26 February 2016 for £297,600.
Dated and authenticated by experts at Timeline Auctions, the ring was given to Joan as a child by her parents and worn throughout her life.
During her trial in 1431, the ring was symbolically confiscated by the English and remained on British soil until Friday 4 March, when it was brought back to France.
Nicolas de Villiers, President, Puy du Fou said: “Within days of hearing that this ring was up for auction, we swiftly assembled a group of donors who contributed anywhere between ten and tens of thousands of euros. Clearly, many people share our passion for returning this object to its homeland, and we participated in a close bidding war with American and British collectors. We are delighted to have acquired this jewel of French history.”
The ring’s return will be celebrated at a ceremony that is open to all, on 20 March 2016 at 14:00, in the courtyard of the Puy du Fou castle, France. It will then be placed on permanent display.
Puy du Fou uniquely brings history to life through a variety of shows based around historical events, and is committed to showcasing extraordinary artistic creativity and creating an unforgettable experience.
Alexandre Terrasse, Partner and Head of French Inward Investment, Edwin Coe LLP states: “I am delighted to have been able to assist Puy du Fou, a long-standing client, with the purchase of this emblematic ring. For all at Edwin Coe the ring represents more than a significant piece of history; it is also a symbol of the strong links which exist between the UK and France, and which are very much part of what we seek to offer our clients at Edwin Coe – a seamless international service offering the best of French and British legal expertise.”
The history of the ring
The 600-year old artefact was removed from Joan’s hand by Bishop Cauchon, who presided over the initial trial. Joan demanded in vain that he return the ring.
It was then given to the English Cardinal Henry Beaufort who oversaw all successive sessions of the trial through to Joan’s execution.
The ring was then passed down through the generations by King Henry VII of England. It left the aristocracy in 1914, when sold by the spouse of Ottoline Morreli, Augustus John. Over the course of the twentieth century, the ring was resold several times, but remained on British soil.
The ring corresponds exactly with the description recorded in the minutes of the trial, given by Joan of Arc herself. It contains an inscription of Jhesus Maria and three crosses.
About Edwin Coe
Edwin Coe LLP is a full service law firm based in the heart of London’s historic legal district in Lincoln’s Inn. Founded in 1913, we have grown from our litigation origins to become a thriving and dynamic practice, providing a comprehensive range of legal services to meet the needs of a wide variety of businesses, individuals and organisations based throughout the UK and internationally.
With 37 partners, we are ranked 116 in the 2020 edition of The Lawyer ‘UK 200’ law firms and are recommended in all the major legal directories. We provide clients with innovative, tailored and integrated legal services and combine a highly personal and responsive service with industry leading expertise.